chapter  4
24 Pages

Managing otherness: genomics and public health policy in

BySingapore

In contrast to the previous chapter, in which I focused on the interest of pharmaceutical companies in formulating and capturing the “Asian” and “Caucasian” markets in genomic medicine, this chapter explores how governments may incorporate genomic science in public health policy-making processes. The first section describes the ways in which medical researchers, doctors, and health economists have attempted to incorporate genomic data for the purposes of public health policies in Singapore. In particular, this chapter shows that, in the context of cost-effectiveness studies for managing public health resources, there is a tendency for social actors involved to think in terms of, and use, prevailing Chinese-Malay-Indian-Others (CMIO) census population categories as if these were biologically distinctive populations, thus providing a structural impetus for the implementation of “personalized medicine” that may be actually based on ethnic or racial categories.